Poem by Vijay Ramanathan


 

Jodie Foster & Sacha Baron Cohen Consume Incredible Edibles

Leave it to Sacha Baron Cohen to quote
ancient Buddhist masters that will
make Jodie Foster tilt her head
& squint her eyes in puzzle-
ment.

              Jodie wears shoes that are so
unstylish it’s quite possible
they have travelled the full bell-curve
& become stylish again.

Cohen always has a book with him:
Dogen talks about a level of reality
& a realm of awakening that
goes beyond psychology.

Jodie is already getting a whiff
of the empty nest syndrome. She counters:
Dogen talks not about space, but
the ‘flowering of space’.

Jodie is terrified John Hinckley Jr.
is zeroing in on her
                            in that very moment.

Cohen’s joke is to show Jodie
a doughnut, eat it, tell her where
it’s been; then reveal
it wasn’t a doughnut.

Cohen is nothing if not in control.

He says: What Dogen points out here is
the reality of all beings of inter-
dependent origin-
ation.

Cohen reckons he is 23% gay, despite
being married with 3 kids.

Dogen is a central figure in Zen, but as they
continue to read, they find him
very hard to penetrate.

Jodie Foster comes out without really
coming out, suggests she will still retire
from acting without exactly
saying so, in a reprise of her almost
remembered long, breathless,
& rambling soliloquy.

She says: Dogen is great &
it’s been fun reading him, but
this has been one mind
I’m not dying to get inside.

She then explains to Cohen how
she’s weathered the jump
from child star to teen fox,
from Oscar-winning adult actress
to feature film director.

Cohen says: Dogen is not concerned
with sacred mountains or pilgrimages
or spirits or wilderness as some
mystical quality.

Jodie inspires Cohen saying
it is time to resist.

Jodie is now sick of their conversation
about women directors. (No matter how Jodie feels
about Cohen — and he elicits a strong
reaction — Jodie can’t deny
that he is fearless.)
                             Sorry, Sacha, AIDS is
no joke. Everything is connected
with everything.

That night it was a camel that
got the last laugh. Great success!

 

Vijay Ramanathan’s poem is from his collection Celebrity Sadhana, Or, How to meditate with a Hammer which was completed this year after receiving a 2017 New Works grant from Queens Arts Council. He previously published Escape from Samsara: Poems, which was awarded an Honorable Mention in the category “Romance / Poetry” from Readers Favorites. He is a supervising librarian in Queens and host of the radio program The Truth to Power Show on Radio Free Brooklyn.

Ira Joel Haber was born and lives in Brooklyn. He is a sculptor, painter, writer, book dealer,photographer and teacher. His work has been seen in numerous group shows bothin the USA and Europe and he has had 9 one man shows including several retrospectives of his sculpture. His work is in the collections of The Whitney Museum Of American Art, New York University, The Guggenheim Museum, The Hirshhorn Museum,The Albright-Knox Art Gallery & The Allen Memorial Art Museum. Since 2006 His paintings, drawings, photographs and collages have been published in over 230 on line and print magazines. He has received three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, two Pollock-Krasner grants, the Adolph Gottlieb Foundation grant and, in 2010, he received a grant from Artists’ Fellowship Inc. He currently teaches art to retired public school teachers at The United Federation of Teachers program in Brooklyn.

 

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